UKTV channels on YouView

daveDarren Childs, CEO of UKTV, has revealed that the broadcaster’s channels are to be carried on open IPTV platform YouView later in the year.

Delivering a keynote address at the IEA Future of Broadcasting Conference in London on the relationship between the Internet and broadcasting, Childs noted that in the early days, TV had spent a long time trying to block access to its channels on the web by means such as encryption, but that nowadays, defined online strategies were vital to a broadcaster’s success.

The agreement marks the first time UKTV has offered a catch-up service that is purpose-built for TV.

UKTV’s home of witty banter, Dave will be the first of its free-to-air channels to launch a seven day catch-up service in July with programming accessible through a Dave-branded on demand portal and through YouView’s scroll back programme guide. This is the first time that UKTV will provide a service to viewers directly through YouView and hit shows such as Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums, Ross Noble’s Freewheeling, Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish, Alexander Armstrong’s Big Ask, Storage Hunters, Lizard Lick Towing, and Russell Howard’s Good News will be available to all YouView customers.

UKTV is also celebrating significant growth across the network. It was the fastest growing commercial broadcaster in Britain in 2012 and its entertainment channel Dave celebrated its second most successful week in the channel’s history last month, averaging a 1.64 per cent share in week 22. This is up 45 per cent (year-on-year) and to date, Dave has improved its share of audience by 17 per cent (2013, weeks 1-22).

UKTV developed its YouView app with Capablue and YouView catch-up services for Yesterday and Really will launch by the end of the year.

Childs noted that the UKTV network currently reaches over 42 million viewers a month and that the agreement with YouView would make its programmes and channel brands available to even more viewers. “Providing a catch-up service for our free-to-air channels on YouView is an important step for us, ensuring we give viewers the ‘anytime, anywhere’ access to our channels and programming that they want,” he added.

Richard Halton, CEO, YouView said the platform was pleased to welcome UKTV to its collection of on demand TV players. “YouView is currently the fastest growing TV platform in the UK and we know that offering quality on demand content, from iconic channels such as Dave, Really and Yesterday, is key to giving our customers a great TV experience and makes our scroll back programme guide even more compelling.” he declared.

The news follows the launch of UKTV’s own On Demand services for its free-to-air channels late last year and UKTV’s recent announcement of its fourth free-to-air channel which will launch on 8 July. Drama will air a diverse range of critically-acclaimed shows that have defined the landscape of British television and the channel will increase UKTV’s broadcast reach and bolster its channel portfolio.

The Capablue solution has been implemented with Marlin DRM, the open-standard content protection system for YouView’s consumer devices and services.

Ben Hine, Director of Operations, Technology and Innovation at UKTV, said that in today’s connected world the broadcaster wanted its viewers to be able to watch content when, and how, they want it. “Providing a catch-up service for our free-to-air channels on YouView is an important step for us, and Capablue understands the importance of the ‘anytime anywhere experience’ and how it can create a deeper engagement between content and viewers. They helped us to rapidly develop an agile, flexible and cost-effective portal which greatly reduced our initial deployment timescales,” he said.

“We know that high quality on-demand content from iconic channels such as Really and Yesterday will be key to UKTV offering its viewers a great TV experience,” said Tom Cape, CEO, Capablue. “Connected TV will play an integral role in providing game-changing TV services which will change the way viewers approach entertainment. The UKTV on demand player accessible via YouView is a truly exciting service which will meet the increased demand for on-demand services in the UK. It’s another device for our ever expanding portfolio. We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with UKTV to ensure UK viewers receive the best TV content across all devices.”

 

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